The global lockdown caused by COVID-19 may seem like a forced vacation to some people. But for many in isolation, the restrictions, fear and uncertainty can make it seem like torture. According to Psychology Today's report, the stress that people are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic may lead to negative feelings that will result in anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This collective trauma may feel bleak, but it isn't the first crisis faced by the world. According to the report, research investigations in various crises, such as 9/11, were conducted to show how individuals are coping with the events in both maladaptive and adaptive ways.
Researchers have studied the behavior of mentally strong people, how they think and act through adverse experiences. Here are some suggestions, based on evidence, that may help people not only manage the pandemic, but also decrease the long-term mental effects it may have.
5 things mentally strong people do to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic
1. They accept their feelings as normal.
According to the American Psychological Association, mentally strong people tend to accept their feelings as a normal thing since the pandemic is a time for both personal trauma and collective trauma.
They understand that feelings such as anxiety, fear, anger, and hopelessness are normal because there is too much information to be processed at once during the pandemic.
2. They limit news and media exposure.
The research stated that there are two main predictors of how well a person will cope with a pandemic or crisis. The first is how they feel vulnerable with their own lives before the pandemic even started. The second one is how much news information they consume during the pandemic.
This may lead to PTSD or various trauma. Being exposed to the media 24 hours a day can activate an individual's "fight or flight" response, which may lead to traumatic stress. Mentally strong people avoid consuming too much media, choose responsible and reliable media or print outlets, and limit their exposure to distressful images or content.
3. They limit social media exposure.
This is also linked to limiting news and media since mentally strong people know that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are unofficial news channels and deliver news based on the people's preferences and behaviors.
Mentally healthy people tend to avoid using social media platforms for news sources. Or, if they can, consume it carefully and judiciously.
4. They meditate.
Different studies have long revealed that long-term meditators can recover from a traumatic experience or a stressful event better.
The benefits of meditation include reduced stress, less anxiety, decreased depression, increased attention span, and an overall improved emotional well-being.
5. They focus on facts.
Being emotional is a natural thing during the pandemic. However, choosing to use the rational mind by listing facts and logical information can decrease unnecessary negative thoughts. Mentally strong people tend to think and discern before accepting any information from any source.